Let’s Get Smart About the Longleaf Coal Plant

Early County politicians want us to subsidize a 1,200-megawatt coal-burning power plant — one of the biggest in Georgia — so the owners of a New Jersey energy company can make money. Let’s put the facts on the table.

The Plant Won’t Revive Our Economy

  • Construction jobs last only a few years.
  • Out-of-town engineers will fill the few jobs needed to operate the plant.
  • Rising construction costs and new federal regulations make it doubtful that the plant will generate the tax revenue its backers say it will.
  • Pollution from the plant will hurt Early County’s economy. We’ll be a less desirable location for tourists, retirees and industries that don’t pollute. Investors will stay away.

The Plant’s Pollution Threatens Our People, Our Crops and Our Way of Life

  • The plant will produce 807 tons of soot particles, causing breathing and heart problems. That much soot will likely put us over EPA limits, making it uncertain whether our timber farmers could do prescribed burns.
  • The plant will produce 3,227 tons of sulfur dioxide and 1,344 tons nitrogen oxides, which will damage our peanuts and pine trees.
  • The plant will produce 220 pounds of mercury, which falls into rivers and streams, where it gets absorbed by the fish we eat.  And mercury is especially toxic for children and women who want to have children.

The Plant Will Use Too Much of Our Water — and Pollute What It Doesn’t Use Up

  • Just running the plant will use 20 million gallons of water every day — water than won’t be available to us for agriculture, or for recreation on the Chattahoochee River.
  • Burning coal creates ash that contains arsenic, mercury, lead, chromium, and cadmium — elements that will seep into our soil.
  • The plant’s coal-ash storage pond will be located near the Chattahoochee, threatening the river if there is an overflow.

The air we breathe, the water our children drink and the money in our pocketbooks are at risk if Longleaf is built.

Georgians for Smart Energy asks a simple question: Should we
invest in the future or the past? The time to start investing in
a clean‐energy economy is now.

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